Taking Care Of Vintage Costume Jewellery.
Stage 1 Maintenance.
1. Don't sleep in it, take it off before you go to bed.
There are many reasons for this, obviously a very delicate piece could just be destroyed by the every day tossing and turning of sleep.
2, Don't shower or bathe in it, take it off before hand. Hot water will slowly erode any glue settings, rhinestones will be lost.
3, Never ever do hot tubs with jewellery on, this shouldn't even be for vintage jewellery, it should be a warning sign for ANY jewellery, the chemicals in hot tubs affect all stones, ( I cant' even, there's chlorine and bromine usually added to the general maintenance disinfect as well as many others) even precious ones if you love pearls, don't even think about it. Pearls are really badly affected by hot tubs, keep in mind pearl jewellery is mainly hand strung the older pieces on natural fibers, you are slowly bleaching both the pearls and material used to string them. They just cant stand up to it.
4. Perfume. Put it on before jewellery and give it time to settle, or just don't wear it in places where you are wearing jewellery. Perfume natural or not is still just a series of scented chemicals you are applying. Spraying over vintage jewellery will leave a coating, some of the chemicals may interact with and damage your pieces.
4. If its a valued piece family piece, keep it that way, store it carefully, don't mix it up with other jewellery. And Keep any family history alive, by any letters, mentions in letters, of the pieces, photos etc.
5, If you buy a vintage piece be aware what you have bought, a costume jewellery piece from the 1920's - 90's will still decay quickly if you don't love and look after it.
6. Verdigris, the dreaded green sign of decay to costume jewellery. If you notice this on a piece, separate it from the other pieces. Clean it thoroughly, if you catch it early you may be able to save the piece, but still keep it separated from other jewellery. Think of it like a virus it can be passed on by touch, but between jewellery.
Hope these tips help, we''ll add some more practical maintenance advice soon as this list was mainly a ' Do Not Do section '